Assistant Curator, Asia
Supporting the curators responsible for East Asia, with an emphasis on the Korean collections.
The history and practices of collecting, Asian ceramics, and the material cultures of Korea – especially that of the Goryeo Dynasty, the Joseon Dynasty and the 20th and 21st centuries.
Lauren Barnes is Assistant Curator for Asia.
Lauren studied Human Geography for her BA and Museum Practice for her MPrac, both at Newcastle University. She developed an interest in Asian collections at her time at the Oriental Museum, Durham University, where she worked in several roles, including Assistant Curator, Access Officer, and programme lead for the Korean Festival, the latter funded by the Korean Foundation. At the Oriental Museum, Lauren curated and researched the permanent Rutt Gallery of Korea and was part of the team that redisplayed the South Asian, Southeast Asian and Himalayan Collections.
After leaving the Oriental Museum, Lauren subsequently worked in South Korea. On her return to the UK, she has worked in museums in the North of England, including curatorial roles at the Auckland Project, and at Northumbria University. These curatorial positions focused on Asian collections and non-Christian world religions and beliefs.
Lauren is currently working towards her PhD at The University of Manchester in which she is researching the patterns and implications of collecting Korean objects in UK museums from the late 1800s – 2020.
Her research interests include the history of collecting, Asian ceramics, digital humanities, and the material culture of Korea – especially that of the Goryeo Dynasty, the Joseon Dynasty and the 20th and 21st centuries.